The Last Girl By Michael Adams

The Last Girl The Last Girl Book One
Written By Michael Adams
Dystopian, Science Fiction
Published October 1st 2013
400 Pages
Thank you to Allen and Unwin Australia
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The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion, just a tsunami sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone's inner most secrets became audible. Everyone's thoughts, that is, except sixteen year old Danby.

Everyone looked like bad actors in a poorly dubbed movie. Their expressions didn't match their emotions and their lips didn't sync with what they were saying. But they were all so loud.
The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.

When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.

Sixteen year old Danby Armstrong's telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can't tune into her. With only this slender defense, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother's mountain retreat. But it's 100 kilometers away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.

Danby's escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity's extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.
It could have happened any number of ways, climate change, a virus pandemic, aliens, even a zombie invasion, but Danby Armstrong would never have guessed that when she attended Mollie's party, that it could have been the beginning of the collapse of civilization... And she certainly wouldn't have known that a pair of novelty socks would have torn her world apart. Sixteen year old Danby is like any other teen, she lives her life online, saves every dollar from her part time position at The Grocery and dreams of the day she finishes school, when she buys a ticket to freedom and travels the world. She lives with her half brother Evan, her father who married her former nanny Stephanie. Stephanie is shallow, vain and put an end to Danby's dream of having her mother return from her disconnected retreat in the mountains.

The Morning that changed her life, also changed the world forever. While families should have been exchanging gifts, The Snap left devastation and destruction in it's wake. Inner thoughts were no longer private, secrets were exposed and the guilty were persecuted, none more so than Stephanie. Her step mother has been having an affair with her personal trainer, her inner thoughts shedding more than any child should hear. Thoughts fly back and forth until the confrontation between Danby's father and Stephanie becomes physical, it's that point where Danby realises that although she can hear the thoughts of others, her inner voice is silent to everyone else around her. Sydney is self destructing and angry rioting is rife through Beautopia Point, with communal consciousness cheering for cold blooded murder. But Danby had seen the signs much earlier. Being brought their meals at Rubber Thaime without ordering, knowing that best friend Jacinta wants crush Finn for herself, or that a friend's boyfriend is upstairs at the party, having sex with someone else in the bathroom. Hearing a couple silently auguring in The Grocery, after the girl's partner had thought she was fat. But when mental illness runs in your family, this is one instance where medication won't prepare you for what's to come.

A suicide pilot playing Highway To Hell takes his life and countless others, as he flew the Sydney to Bali bound Airbus into the Harbour Bridge. A shockwave triggered a tsunami that flooded the harbour, glass across the suburbs shattered while a thunderous explosion of ash and debit clogged the air. Amongst the mayhem, Danby hears a lone voice from upstairs, little brother Evan. With the new world closing in, Danby knows they need to leave and their best chance to escape the horrific scene is the long journey to her mothers mountain retreat... If they can survive.

But when the silence strikes and the world feels desolate, all but a select few are immune to their thoughts and body shutting down. Nathan is a second year medical student, who finds himself tagging along with Danby as she explores the masses of unconscious and near death bodies littering the streets. But what makes them so special? When they discover that a popular anti psychosis medication may breathe life back into those that are catatonic, who do they decide which people to reanimate? The plan is to dose one person, leave instructions and medication so that they may dose the next person, creating a chain reaction of citizens aiding one another... Until Jack enters the picture.

Jack is amassing an army, gathering supplies and the strong and healthy to help him on his way. He too has been awaking the catatonic, but without the means of medication. Jack seems to have the knowledge and know how to survive, but what is it that Jack, Nathan and Danby share in common? She may not be able to hear Jack's thoughts, but she'll need to instill trust in someone. It may be Danby's best chance at making it back to her mother.

Kelly's Thoughts

The Last Girl was unlike anything I've read before. It was intense, on edge and I absolutely loved it. The story takes place in Sydney, where The Snap occurred and suddenly the population's thoughts were being broadcast to family, friends and neighbours. Affairs were exposed, buried secrets making themselves known, and it's clear that most everyone has held back the truth at one point of another, culminating in a catastrophic explosion which was too much to bear. The atrocities that Danby and special needs brother Evan witnessed were confronting and terrifying, Michael Adams created a world that was self destructing and didn't hold back. I can't recall how many scenes through the initial few chapters after The Snap where I read with my hand over my mouth, but it was brilliant.

Too often young adult authors assume that the intended audience only ever want to read about a dashing love interest or a hero or heroine swinging in to save the day, but this was raw and the emotional reactions were realistic and what you would expect during what people believe is the end of the world. This is what young adult should be about, a slow building and well crafted story that will leave you breathless and on the edge of your seat. Just when I thought I couldn't take any more, Michael Adams slaps me over the head with and ending that I now can't stop wondering about. I can't bring myself to read The Last Shot sneak peek, it's dangling a carrot when I'm desperately after the whole vegetable garden.


  1. Fantastic, I am glad this book was amazing! Glad it's not just about silly love interests while the rest of the world is going to crap, and I like the realism and emotion in this. I will have to read this soon!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Hey Jeann.
      And the great thing is, it starts slowly and builds. The emotional responses in this are so realistic, the event is called The Snap, and that's exactly how people react. It's frighteningly awesome.

  2. Terrific review, Kelly! I am definitely intrigued about this book. I do agree that sometimes, authors focus more on the romance, but that shouldn't be what their book is solely about. I like intense dystopian stories, but like you said, I think I should lay off this genre a bit. Insert some fluff!

    1. Fluff is a good option in between the heavier novels, especially The Last Girl, it's so intense. I can't wait until The Last Shot is released, the way this one ended killed me with intrigue. I need to know!


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